Gaming and GST. On a Roller Coaster Ride

Pankaj Ghosal

The online gaming sector has been expanding at a rapid rate in recent years. Companies in the gaming business have grown rapidly with the popularity of online and mobile games, to the point that they are now significant economic drivers. Yet, the obligation of paying taxes, such as Goods and Services Tax (GST), come along with expansion.

What’s GST

Goods and Services Tax is a tax levied on the sale of digital items and services sold by businesses in India. The Goods and Services Tax (GST) rate for online gambling is 18%, calculated on the whole purchase price. Yet, various court challenges have been filed upholding or rejecting the applicability of GST to gambling enterprises.

Some Rulings In Favour Of GST

In 2020, a group of gaming firms took the government’s planned application of GST on their services to the Karnataka High Court. Companies claimed that GST shouldn’t apply since eSports are a game of ability, not chance. Yet the court ruled that Tax applies to online gaming since it is considered gambling under the GST Act.

In 2021, a gaming firm contested the GST’s application to the selling of virtual money inside their game before the Gujarat High Court. The business claimed that GST should not apply to virtual money since it was neither a “good” nor a “service” under the GST Act. But the court disagreed, and it ruled that virtual money is a service that must pay GST.

These examples illustrate the difficulties encountered by the gaming industry while implementing GST. The Goods and Services Tax (GST) has important legal and financial ramifications for the gaming industry, and it is imperative that businesses in this sector be aware of them. Penalties and legal action may be incurred for noncompliance.

Non-Compliance And Ramifications

Recent news articles state that the Indian government’s Enforcement Directorate (ED) is looking into allegations of Rs 23,000 crore worth of GST avoidance by Indian online gaming businesses. Many prominent Indian gambling businesses are reportedly being probed. According to reports, the ED is looking into the firms’ books to see whether the appropriate Tax has been collected. The government body has suspicions that the businesses were trying to avoid paying GST on the full amount of their transactions in order to conceal their true financial standing.

Millions of Indians now regularly engage in online gaming on a variety of platforms, from smartphones and tablets to personal computers. Nonetheless, there have been a number of regulatory hurdles that the business has had to overcome, such as those involving gaming regulations and the GST.

Here Are Some Of The Key Issues Of GST On Gaming Companies Is Complex And Multifaceted, With Several Factors:


With the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in 2017, the gaming sector in India has been grappling with several complicated difficulties. The following are some potential solutions to these problems:

In conclusion, regulatory changes, education, and streamlining of procedures are all viable solutions to the gaming industry’s complicated problems under GST in India. To make sure their concerns are taken into account, the business sector should also be represented in policymaking.

Written By
Pankaj Ghosal

Pankaj Ghosal

Experienced Chartered Accountant with a demonstrated history of working in the financial accounting industry. Skilled in Internal Audit, Accounting and GST compliance and litigation matters. Strong finance professional graduated from The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India.


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